Author Topic: When dinner is significantly delayed...  (Read 23432 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #135 on: November 10, 2012, 11:47:34 AM »
On the other hand, that's my kid, and I know not everyone's kids are like mine.  I'm not going to push other people to do things my way any more than I want them to tell me that I'm wrong for not keeping him on a strict schedule.  . . .  One thing I'm specifically not going to do is agree to something that fits their schedule, and then intentionally draw things out to mess up that schedule just because I disapprove of it.  That is extremely rude, and even as a parent who doesn't do a strict schedule, I can say that the host in the OP was PA, and very, very rude.

I'm not going to say that Annie was *intentionally* making dinner take so long.

But I'll tell you that even accidentally I'm not going to take an 2.5 HOURS  to get some sort of dinner before my guests when they arrive at my home. Or if it took me that long, I'm not going to be ignoring them the whole time. Nor would I omit an apology when they said, "It's getting too late, I have to leave."

THAT is the part of this that makes this whole thing so rude, and not just "lame at timing dining." (I've *been* "lame at timing dinner," but I wasn't rude on top of it.)

The hosts didn't make much of an effort to interact w/ their guests; they didn't apparently apologize that stuff was late and explain it, and when two of their guests *had* to leave, they didn't bother to even call out from the kitchen, let alone come out and say anything.

I'd have been apologizing all over the place at 7pm. And making some "oh, the heck with it!" decisions. We'd have eaten the carrots raw instead of cooked.

I'd also have been asking at least one of my guest (since these are good friends) if they'd be willing to pull the salad together, or something, to speed things up.
   (Heck, Annie was sure willing to ask for topping stuff that cost $15; that doesn't indicate that asking for help would have been such a faux pas between them.)

You can be damned sure that if CakeBeret had been at one of OUR houses, she wouldn't be posting at Etiquette Hell about this--because not a ONE of us would have let her leave our house without an apology for our bad timing. She'd have left KNOWING that the friendship hadn't been damaged and that she hadn't been rude.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 11:49:22 AM by TootsNYC »

Dragonflymom

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #136 on: November 10, 2012, 12:31:38 PM »
I had the mortifying experience of serving dinner about 2 hours late once when we had friends over.  I was trying out a new recipe (always a mistake when having company over I discovered the hard way!) and it looked a lot easier and faster in the book then it actually ended up being.

But I apologized all over the place about it.  I accepted their help in trying to get the thrice accused sweet potato pancakes and tamarind soup done at a more reasonable hour.  I tried to socialize with them as best I could while stuff was cooking, and so did my husband.

My point in all this is that yeah cooking disasters happen.  But a good host does not handle them like this woman does.  A good host handles them with as much grace as they can, and tries to make the best of it.

That's what makes me think it could have been passive aggressive.
"By swallowing evil goats unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach"  Winston Churchill

Allyson

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #137 on: November 10, 2012, 12:43:41 PM »
About the 'rude to only be around for an hour and a half' thing...that might be true in general, but I think this is an exception because Annie *knew* that going into this. She specifically invited them for the time she did so that they could be gone by 8. So to me, had everything worked out, this wouldn't even have slightly been an issue. Yes, it's technically breaking a rule, but it seems to me it was an agreed-upon-by-everyone rule breaking.

SleepyKitty

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #138 on: November 10, 2012, 12:46:56 PM »
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

See, things run differently in my social circle. Time is tight for all of us, we understand time is tight, and 2-3 hours for dinner is just not do-able. I would absolutely not expect to spend that long with someone. And the hosts in this circumstance were well aware that this was the situation for CakeBeret.

And I'm not sure why you couldn't socialize over dinner? For my set, dinner IS the socializing time. So, asking where the time for socializing/treating them as something more than a free dinner puzzles me. Isn't the dinner that time? Having dinner on the table and ready to go frees up MORE time for socializing (to me) because then one person isn't in the kitchen trying to finish cooking. Everyone sits right down together and spends that 90 minutes together over dinner, or maybe 30 minutes at the table and then 60 in the living room over tea/coffee or however you want to slice it.

I just can't understand how sitting down to dinner with someone and spending 90 minutes in their company is somehow not acceptable. How much socializing is necessary?

TootsNYC

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #139 on: November 10, 2012, 12:51:23 PM »
And remember that Annie & Joe's cooking schedule fixed it so that there was NO socializing. To me that's a big part of the rudeness.

The hosts were in the kitchen and the guests were in the living room by themselves.


LeveeWoman

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #140 on: November 10, 2012, 01:22:35 PM »
And remember that Annie & Joe's cooking schedule fixed it so that there was NO socializing. To me that's a big part of the rudeness.

The hosts were in the kitchen and the guests were in the living room by themselves.

No, they were joined by the hosts' toddler whom they entertained!  ::)

artk2002

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #141 on: November 10, 2012, 04:59:30 PM »
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

It's acceptable (without the scare quotes, please) when the host has agreed to that. If Annie wanted a minimum of three hours to socialize then it was up to her to set that expectation. The OP (through her DH) was very, very clear on what her intent was. Annie was free to say "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for us." She didn't.

Not every social event has to meet your very specific standards. Getting together for 30 minutes over coffee is just as good as a 2-3 hour visit. Different events have different parameters and that doesn't make any one of them wrong. What's wrong is agreeing to one set of parameters and then not following through.

OP is blameless here. OP didn't "expect to walk in and have dinner on the table." What she did expect was that dinner would be served in enough time for her to eat and leave when she said she had to leave -- two very different things. Dinner could easily have been served at 7:00 or 7:15 to meet her exit requirement that Annie had previously agreed to. Not starting dinner until 7:30, especially a dinner that took 1.5 hours to prepare, was a clear violation of the agreement.

If you don't want to visit someone for such a short time, you're free to decline any invitation that doesn't meet your standards. If you invite someone and they say that they would like to, but have a restriction, you're free to rescind the invitation if you don't think the event will be up to your standards if you were to accommodate their restriction. OP tried to decline and Annie agreed to change the event to meet OP's need.
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LeveeWoman

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #142 on: November 10, 2012, 05:35:35 PM »
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

It's acceptable (without the scare quotes, please) when the host has agreed to that. If Annie wanted a minimum of three hours to socialize then it was up to her to set that expectation. The OP (through her DH) was very, very clear on what her intent was. Annie was free to say "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for us." She didn't.

Not every social event has to meet your very specific standards. Getting together for 30 minutes over coffee is just as good as a 2-3 hour visit. Different events have different parameters and that doesn't make any one of them wrong. What's wrong is agreeing to one set of parameters and then not following through.

OP is blameless here. OP didn't "expect to walk in and have dinner on the table." What she did expect was that dinner would be served in enough time for her to eat and leave when she said she had to leave -- two very different things. Dinner could easily have been served at 7:00 or 7:15 to meet her exit requirement that Annie had previously agreed to. Not starting dinner until 7:30, especially a dinner that took 1.5 hours to prepare, was a clear violation of the agreement.

If you don't want to visit someone for such a short time, you're free to decline any invitation that doesn't meet your standards. If you invite someone and they say that they would like to, but have a restriction, you're free to rescind the invitation if you don't think the event will be up to your standards if you were to accommodate their restriction. OP tried to decline and Annie agreed to change the event to meet OP's need.

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NyaChan

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #143 on: November 10, 2012, 05:48:09 PM »
Don't want to copy the whole thing, but I agree completely with artk2002 & LeveeWoman

SoCalVal

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #144 on: November 10, 2012, 07:45:37 PM »
I guess, in my mind, unless this is a next-door neighbor or your "BFF", I don't understand how it is really "acceptable" to drive to a friend's house, be there at 6:30pm, expect to walk in and have dinner on the table, then leave 90 minutes later (in order to get your child to bed).  Where is the time for socializing? Where is the time for treating them as anything more than a free dinner? If someone invites me/my family over for dinner, except for the "neighborhood impromptu barbecues" ("hey - it's a school night and I have some ribs.  Do you have any salad?  Let's toss everything together and feed the kids so we can get them to bed at a reasonable time and they can still have some time to play")...I expect to be there for a MINIMUM of 2-3 hours.

It's acceptable (without the scare quotes, please) when the host has agreed to that. If Annie wanted a minimum of three hours to socialize then it was up to her to set that expectation. The OP (through her DH) was very, very clear on what her intent was. Annie was free to say "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for us." She didn't.

Not every social event has to meet your very specific standards. Getting together for 30 minutes over coffee is just as good as a 2-3 hour visit. Different events have different parameters and that doesn't make any one of them wrong. What's wrong is agreeing to one set of parameters and then not following through.

OP is blameless here. OP didn't "expect to walk in and have dinner on the table." What she did expect was that dinner would be served in enough time for her to eat and leave when she said she had to leave -- two very different things. Dinner could easily have been served at 7:00 or 7:15 to meet her exit requirement that Annie had previously agreed to. Not starting dinner until 7:30, especially a dinner that took 1.5 hours to prepare, was a clear violation of the agreement.

If you don't want to visit someone for such a short time, you're free to decline any invitation that doesn't meet your standards. If you invite someone and they say that they would like to, but have a restriction, you're free to rescind the invitation if you don't think the event will be up to your standards if you were to accommodate their restriction. OP tried to decline and Annie agreed to change the event to meet OP's need.

DITTO!

Count me in agreement also.  I couldn't imagine dictating for everyone else what is an acceptable minimum length of time to socialize, especially when it has been agreed upon by those involved.

Look at the reverse.  Really, is it acceptable to mandate that others spend a minimum of 2-3 hours socializing with you when they agreed to coming over for dinner (or whatever other meal)?

If your social circle's practice is 2-3 hours minimum and that is what is understood, then that's fine.  However, it's not acceptable to project that on others outside of your circle and look at them askance when they don't follow YOUR rules.

In the OP's case, the friends agreed to the change then didn't follow through.  I can't say whether or not it were intentional, although not coming out of the kitchen to say goodbye was definitely rude.

DF has an aunt who is notorious for never being on time with dinner.  Even two of her kids won't come over when she wants them to because they know she'll never have dinner ready near the hour she wants everyone to come over (I'm talking she wants everyone over like at 2-3pm and state dinner will be ready about 6pm then dinner isn't ready until about 7-8pm).  I don't think she's being PA or controlling.  I think she really just is a bit too laid-back about being on a schedule.  One time, DF's cousin showed up at 6pm, and dinner was still about an hour late (Cousin had something to say about that, too, which we all found really funny).  DF has told her in advance that, no matter what time dinner is served, we have to leave by a specific time in order to be able to make the 1.5-2 hour drive home while still alert (DF doesn't really care for me insisting on it, but I tell him repeatedly that I don't care for having to pull over and snooze in a parking lot because he wants to stay later then neither of us is awake enough to make the drive home without stopping).

Anyway, if it weren't for the fact that the couple would not come out of the kitchen and did not apologize to the OP at all, I would've thought of this as a really really bad sense of timing.  However, the fact that they didn't tells me it doesn't matter if it were not intentional; they didn't think themselves in the wrong here.



kareng57

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #145 on: November 10, 2012, 11:29:48 PM »
But I also had quite a few friends (when my kids were younger) who would hang a sign on the front door that said "Please don't ring bell - baby sleeping" and then wonder why their kids were such light sleepers.  Maybe I AM extraordinarily lucky, but my kids were cuddling to sleep with me in the hospital when they were 36 hours old and the TV was on (I NEED "white noise" at all times).  I have only my own experience (and the dumb choices - seriously - REALLY dumb choices) of some of my personal friends to go on)

In my experience, the causality runs the other direction.  People whose kids can sleep deeply, easily, and almost anywhere are able to have flexible schedules, go anywhere, and make lots of noise around their kids.  People whose kids have lots of trouble falling asleep, wake very easily, and mostly can't sleep except at specific times in their own quiet beds, end up as those families who have to really follow a schedule, restrict their activities, and tiptoe around if they don't want to live a nightmare of sleep deprivation and constant meltdowns.

I think many parents of easy kids think they just did something right, but in my experience we really don't have as much control over these things as we'd like to think.  It always felt like adding insult to injury when parents of easy kids say things to me like "Oh, just make lots of noise around kids and take them out a lot!  That's what I did and my kids sleep through anything!"  It's as if they think (1) that I didn't already try that 1000 times and (2) that I must just be really stupid, following schedules and tiptoeing around my kids for absolutely no reason.

I'm glad your son is feeling better!


It can go just about any kind of way.  Overall, DS #2 was a much easier baby than his older brother.  However, he really was much more tied to a schedule.  He really *had* to have lunch around 12 pm, and his 3-hour afternoon nap shortly afterwards.  Moving anything even by about a half-hour or so would lead to inconsolable sobbing.  (Not that that wouldn't have happened with his older brother, but he was miserable all the time anyway, it didn't really make any difference... :)

So overall I agree - all babies are different.  An analogy can be a mom who figures she's a breastfeeding expert because it worked so well with her first two babies.  Then baby #3, the Nursing Rebel comes along, and all theories are off...(please, I'm not trying to start a breastfeeding debate, I'm just trying to demonstrate how many parenting theories can come apart).

Certainly a fairly unconventional baby-schedule can work, if baby ordinarily gets up after 8 am and has dinner around 9 pm or so - perhaps this works with the parents' work schedules.  But no one should expect a baby who usually eats a 6 pm to willingly wait till 8 pm or later.

For OP - I do think it would have been preferable to stick your head in the kitchen and say "sorry, we have to go, Baby has to eat".  But if you couldn't, you couldn't.

gen xer

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #146 on: November 11, 2012, 11:49:51 AM »

I'm sort of torn on the whole babies / children on a schedule thing....I have been on both sides.  We had the youngest children on DH's side of the family and I sometimes felt they had NO consideration for reasonable timings for the kids.  On one occasion it was 7:30 pm before a decision was even made about what restaurant to go to ( you know the kind of endless debate and indecision that often goes with a big group trying to make plans ) and I was fuming.  My girls were not on a rigid schedule by any means but I liked them to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

On the other hand I don't want to raise special snowflake children where the world is expected to revolve around them and their schedule.  As children get older they should be able to handle a little less structure.  I can understand parents of babies and young children trying to follow a stricter schedule if only because they are often  the ones paying for it in terms of miserable kids and poor sleep.  A little less cluelessness and a little consideration on the part of people who aren't in that situation goes a long way.  However I have a friend whose sons are older ( youngest is 7 ) and she often insists that people have their meals ready to serve by 5:00 pm because "her boys are hungry".  Errrrr....they can wait until 6:00 or even 6:30.  The sooner they learn that they have to live with life's little curveballs the better.

cicero

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #147 on: November 11, 2012, 12:56:18 PM »

I'm sort of torn on the whole babies / children on a schedule thing....I have been on both sides.  We had the youngest children on DH's side of the family and I sometimes felt they had NO consideration for reasonable timings for the kids.  On one occasion it was 7:30 pm before a decision was even made about what restaurant to go to ( you know the kind of endless debate and indecision that often goes with a big group trying to make plans ) and I was fuming.  My girls were not on a rigid schedule by any means but I liked them to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

On the other hand I don't want to raise special snowflake children where the world is expected to revolve around them and their schedule.  As children get older they should be able to handle a little less structure.  I can understand parents of babies and young children trying to follow a stricter schedule if only because they are often  the ones paying for it in terms of miserable kids and poor sleep.  A little less cluelessness and a little consideration on the part of people who aren't in that situation goes a long way.  However I have a friend whose sons are older ( youngest is 7 ) and she often insists that people have their meals ready to serve by 5:00 pm because "her boys are hungry".  Errrrr....they can wait until 6:00 or even 6:30.  The sooner they learn that they have to live with life's little curveballs the better.

but again - as others have pointed out - the whole "child has to eat on time" isn't really the point.

the point is that the cakeberets were invited to dinner with their toddler son to a family that has a son around the same age.

the original invite was for 8.30. the cakeberets declined, citing the late hour. the friends changed the hour to an earlier hour. it was clear that diiner was at 6.30 to enable cakeberet to be home on time.

they get there - dinner is no "delayed", it is no where *near* ready. dinner was actually ready two and a half hours AFTER the original dinner time. I have no idea what was being served, but I can't think of a mid-week family dinner with two toddlers that would take that long.

not only that - but the hosts left the cakeberets alone to entertain their own (the hosts') son. and left them for 2.5 hours with no snacks? appetizers? something? (the OP said that MR. Cakeberet got his son a snack).

even if there was no child that needed to be home, it's rude to delay dinner by 2.5 hours, while ignoring your guests, and leaving your guests to baby sit your child. sorry - just not done.

and if this was a case of "kitchen mishap" then you say something - you say "wow, mr. and mrs. cakeberet, i'm so sorry, you see i defrosted what i thought was chicken and it turns out to be venison heart... so I'm just cutting up a veggie tray and we've ordered a pizza - it should be here in a few minutes. meanwhile, let's nibble on these veggies!"

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gen xer

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #148 on: November 11, 2012, 01:22:04 PM »

I'm sort of torn on the whole babies / children on a schedule thing....I have been on both sides.  We had the youngest children on DH's side of the family and I sometimes felt they had NO consideration for reasonable timings for the kids.  On one occasion it was 7:30 pm before a decision was even made about what restaurant to go to ( you know the kind of endless debate and indecision that often goes with a big group trying to make plans ) and I was fuming.  My girls were not on a rigid schedule by any means but I liked them to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

On the other hand I don't want to raise special snowflake children where the world is expected to revolve around them and their schedule.  As children get older they should be able to handle a little less structure.  I can understand parents of babies and young children trying to follow a stricter schedule if only because they are often  the ones paying for it in terms of miserable kids and poor sleep.  A little less cluelessness and a little consideration on the part of people who aren't in that situation goes a long way.  However I have a friend whose sons are older ( youngest is 7 ) and she often insists that people have their meals ready to serve by 5:00 pm because "her boys are hungry".  Errrrr....they can wait until 6:00 or even 6:30.  The sooner they learn that they have to live with life's little curveballs the better.

but again - as others have pointed out - the whole "child has to eat on time" isn't really the point.

the point is that the cakeberets were invited to dinner with their toddler son to a family that has a son around the same age.

the original invite was for 8.30. the cakeberets declined, citing the late hour. the friends changed the hour to an earlier hour. it was clear that diiner was at 6.30 to enable cakeberet to be home on time.

they get there - dinner is no "delayed", it is no where *near* ready. dinner was actually ready two and a half hours AFTER the original dinner time. I have no idea what was being served, but I can't think of a mid-week family dinner with two toddlers that would take that long.

not only that - but the hosts left the cakeberets alone to entertain their own (the hosts') son. and left them for 2.5 hours with no snacks? appetizers? something? (the OP said that MR. Cakeberet got his son a snack).

even if there was no child that needed to be home, it's rude to delay dinner by 2.5 hours, while ignoring your guests, and leaving your guests to baby sit your child. sorry - just not done.

and if this was a case of "kitchen mishap" then you say something - you say "wow, mr. and mrs. cakeberet, i'm so sorry, you see i defrosted what i thought was chicken and it turns out to be venison heart... so I'm just cutting up a veggie tray and we've ordered a pizza - it should be here in a few minutes. meanwhile, let's nibble on these veggies!"

Yes.....and I agree that since the timing of the dinner was specifically addressed then the hosts should have followed through on serving dinner when they agreed to do it.  No argument here. 

However many times it is what others expect or assume....( they SHOULD be serving dinner at 5:30 because they should know that we like to eat early ).  If it is not mentioned beforehand ( not the case here I realize ) then I think it is rude to dictate timings to the hosts.  I was invited to dinner at a friends house once with my children and dinner was not served until almost 9:00 pm.  Yes we were starving and I was privately kind of annoyed.....but I didn't ask beforehand when supper would be served.  It was assumed on my part that it would be earlier....but that's what I get for assuming.  My kids survived without withering away too.  Sometimes we have to suck it up that it doesn't always go as we'd like and I think it's a good lesson for kids to learn in general.


RingTailedLemur

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #149 on: November 11, 2012, 01:24:29 PM »
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.